The Capitalist Infidel has been reading and hearing about the awful standards of service in Singapore. Luckily for him, his own experiences with lousy service has been pretty limited so what he knows comes mainly from the complaints of others. The Capitalist Infidel feels, however that the quality of service you recieve is firmly within your control.
The most important point is to treat the staff with respect. Be nice. Smile. It sounds like it’s coming out of the customer service manual but remember that whoever is serving you experiences the same range of emotions as you do. Can you imagine being rude to a stranger who’s nice to you? Well, the staff in most shops certainly won’t do that, although many customers do. Just because you are paying doesn’t make them your serfs and remember, if you are in a restaurant, these are the people who will be handling your food.
Have you noticed how foreigners always seem to get better service in Singapore? The Capitalist Infidel has seen how some smiles turn into scowls as a Singaporean customer takes the place of a foreign one. The Capitalist Infidel suspects Singapore is the only country in the world where the citizens actually discriminate against the locals.
This could be due to the fact that Singaporeans have been rude customers since Singaporeans existed or the fact that there is a much higher chance of getting a tip from foreign customers. It doesn’t really matter, there is little we can do about that. If you wish to recieve decent service, do not speak in Singlish. No matter what your friends tell you about how it makes Singaporeans unique and gives them a sense of identity, it is impossible to get any respect with it, even with the punk behind the counter who tells all his friends how it makes Singaporeans unique and gives them a sense of identity.
And of course there is the ridiculous notion that compulsory tipping will help increase service standards. Yes it’s called the Service Charge it is one of the last examples of Communism in the world. Whoever thought of it had no idea what he was doing. The Capitalist Infidel certainly does not understand what possesed the sick and twisted mind of it’s creator. At least Communism was created with noble intentions. Service Charge is just plain stupid.
The name Service Charge implies that you are paying for service, However, this money does not go to whoever is serving you. It goes to the restaurant owner. It is also 10% of whatever food you ordered. The Capitalist Infidel has no idea how anyone decided on that figure.
It doesn’t really matter how many tables the waiter serves, he gets nothing more. It doesn’t matter how good his service is, he won’t get tipped because the customers are told not to, it’s covered in the service charge. The restaurant will take the fruits of his labour. How would you feel in his shoes? Would you feel like giving better service?
However hard he works, he gets nothing. Capitalism and in fact basic economics highlights the importance and power of incentives. That is what the economies of the Western world was based on. That is the power of incentives, the power of the hidden hand.
Of course customers on the recieving end of poor service often feel that the service charge was injustified. How can you be forced to pay for something you did not recieve, and at such an arbitrary price? How often have the restaurants hidden the true cost of food served behind the veil of Service charge?
Guess what, you can do something about it. If the service is bad, tell the restaurant you will not be paying the Service Charge. It’s tried and tested. The Capitalist Infidel did that with Szez at a restaurant on Mt. Faber. The service was horrible and the manager didn’t even dare talk to us.
So the next time you are expecting service, be nice, avoid Singlish and do not eat where you have arguments with the staff before your food is served. Also, feel free to demand that Service Charge be waived, but leave it as a tip for a nice waiter with good service.